OST is closed for business but its spirit survives on my blog.
I don’t believe my response sunk to knee-jerk, casually dismissive or smarter-than-thou.
Before I wrote my response, I read your article several times (to give it the respect it deserves) and looked up and read (and read again) several of your other posts to get some context. I noted in my response that your article was worthy of discussion. I note here in writing what I noted mentally (but did not mention in my response)as I read your article that you had some good things to say about your country.
Your response to me indicated an awareness on your part that apparently our church got it right that Sunday and that the sermon supported your article. It should be apparent that I do not disagree with your assertion that nation worship is not God worship and is, therefore, idolatry and the nation which confuses the two is in danger. That our congregation has not disbanded after that Sunday’s service and has actually grown a little suggests that they, as a body of believers, are in tune with your point.
My description of our service was not a self-righteous lauding of our parish getting it right. It was a suggestion that in America more churches may have gotten it right than your article indicates.
I followed the theological threads fairly easily and take issue with one in particular and that is your seeming assertion that American consumerism and the evil world system are equivalents or that American consumerism is at the root of the world system.
While I will agree that rampant consumerism and a needs/value system created by Hollywood/Madison Avenue’s Pavlovians are part of this system, they are only part of it.
I think when an American pastor starts writing about American Christianity and its sins and in the same article equates Babylon with American consumerism without distinction and qualification, he invites certain members of his global audience to drop what they are doing and pile on(to use a good old American football term).
These are the people who I suggest seem always willing to impute an evil motive to American actions, attribute the world’s ills to America and have a predisposition to hate America all the while giving a pass on all manner of evil done by other nations, organizations, individuals and themselves. I don’t believe they are at all helped toward a lively faith by focusing on America’s great and many evils while they turn away from their own anymore so than they would be if they were encouraged to examine the sins of the biblical publican and pronounce themselves righteous in comparison.